Tuesday, July 04, 2006

To Flood, Save, Build a Bridge or a Dam

A taste of my week...some of the hi-lights.

Monday
- Club

For international Joke week we had the Paradise Zone Stand-up Comedy half hour. We had a contest to find the best and worst joke with a cheer-o-meter to judge. Some great and awful jokes and brilliant participation...what guts to get up and speak into a mike in front of everyone.

Out of two different sadnesses came a great outcome - Keeley to run a drama workshop as part of the summer scheme as a possible pilot/taster session for an Autumn term drama group to look into issues around confidence and self-esteem.

Tuesday - Creative Arts/Social Action Group

After discussing Banksy, Kandinsky and Hunderwasser and some graffiti from round the world, we looked round the market and took pics of the graffitti & mosaic art round the playground. Noted it looked a mess and wanted to do something about it. Keeley was up for getting some brushes out and inviting the community to help. Wandered down Brownfield St. Were observed by some other young people who thought we were going to report their vandalism/graffiti to the police. I was threatned with a Mr Freeze. We invited a young woman, who Thomas identified as being a loner, to come to club next time. We took some more pics.

Wednesday - Junior Club

I was asked to play! Sang karaoke syle songs including Suspicious Minds by Elvis with an 8 year old...she chose the song and knew all the words...it brought me back.

Josh said he is up for running a football workshop in the summer scheme (later changed to outdoor games).

Thursday

Got a call from Emma at Leaside Regeneration asking if I was interested in an art project…finishing the mosaic round the playground in the market...has she spies?

Was having such a good time at club forgot to do joke competition (for international joke week)which Gordon made up for by telling the longest winded joke which many of us got drawn into without realising...

Friday - George Green Complex Needs Group

Shwilli came to club eager to engage...we had found the key...art...Shwilli & Syed took home a mirror and glass they had painted...she was looking forward to the next time.

Craig called to tell me the good news - having missed passing his maths on Wednesday by one point (23 out of 40) ( after which he practiced on a paper at club on Thursday) - on Friday he got 36 out of 40!

Jon came round to talk about doing the youthwork course had wanted to do last year which is at the last interview stage of this year.

Saturday - East End Explorers

We checked out Virginia Quay - where the first permanent settlers left the UK for America, the Bird Sanctuary and Thames Views on the way to Trinity Buoy Wharf. We checked out the lighthouse (playing a 1000 year piece of music since 2000 - we didn't hear it - we may get another chance in the next few 100 years) and Container City, recycled shipping containers converted into artists studios and galleries.

We took a break and had milkshakes and cream sodas at Fatboy's American Diner . They used to make great cream sodas from scratch and when we pointed this out they said they would tell the owner to get the ingredients in then gave us a card with the diner's phone number on so that we could check in a week or so to see if there had been a change.

Sunday

For most of Sunday see post

Crashed Lil's Birthday party...then got invited.

Diane when asked said she was keen to run some more cookery workshops at summer club and plans to bring some young people from home (the US) with her.

On the way home....

Watched children dance in the shower of the burst or opened water pipe. Paddled in the pool of water created. Watched as groups of young people who may not have mixed in different circumstances work together as a team to create a dam.

I asked: Whatcha trying to do...save the world?

Yeah said one guy...we can do it.

Another said, No, we're trying to flood the street.

I thought...Ok...one person's flood is another person's saving.






Then one young man commented: Aren't you supposed to be stopping us?

I thought about this. The thought had crossed my mind already. I couldn't stop the water being wasted...it already was. There wasn't a chance that they could flood the street. They weren't damaging property or in danger...in fact when I pointed to the nails on a piece of wood they hammered them in to prevent someone getting hurt.

I wasn't afraid to tell them to stop. I wasn't trying to get in with them. I wasn't trying to be a rebel.

I just thought about what they would remember about the day, how they had tried to stem the tide...and how they might apply what they had learned from the day in the future...the same way we all have experimented with tree houses, camps, building, making things...they made a dam together as a team...

As one young boy crossed on what he saw were stepping stones...I saw Bridge Across the River Kwai...

How appropriate - it was a bridge after all.

One person's dam is another person's bridge.

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